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The Kid Who Would Be King is a modern-day retelling of the classic King Arthur myth. Set in modern times, a young boy pulls the sword from the stone and must defeat the evil Morgana before darkness befalls the land.
Pro – Good story: The Kid Who Would Be King is the 1,000th retelling of the Arthurian legend. It follows closely to the source material, with the tweaks being the present-day setting and Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table being preteens. Given such a rich history, the bare bones of the story should be solid, and they are. The additions work well. The modern setting provides a fun backdrop for the goings on, and the contrivances to have our heroes battle skeletal horsemen in London without alerting the populace are logical and work. Merlin’s “hand jive” magic was interesting but a little bit off putting. Bonus points for trying something new though, and even more bonus points for Patrick Stewart’s brief stints in the role. The final climax of the film was a bit too Home Alone for me, but younger viewers are likely to love it.
Pro – The look: It has to be said, The Kid Who Would Be King is really good looking. Given the timing of the release and the cast, I didn’t expect much from the visuals. I was wrong. The Kid Who Would Be King looks really, really slick on the screen. It’s not hard to screw up fiery swords, skeletal horsemen, dragon ladies, and magical portals, but this movie nails the visuals. The settings and backgrounds are quite well done too. Of particular note is a cool scene involving a foggy swamp and one of the most visually arresting horseback chases in recent times. The action is also well done and nicely choreographed. Younger actors have some limitations in that department, but everything is handled well and evokes a sense of fun and adventure throughout.
Con – Paint by numbers: There is nothing new in this film. As mentioned above, there are a few tweaks to the setting and age of the protagonists, but this is standard Arthurian fare. More than that though, the story is pretty straight forward. From the jump, it’s not hard to see exactly where things are headed. For an older viewer, that makes The Kid Who Would Be King amusing but not very exciting. The reality though is that’s a bit harsh. This is designed to be watched and enjoyed by a younger audience. Older viewers are likely only there because they’ve chosen to bring a younger viewer. In that sense, it does its job. It’s fun, exciting, and for someone under fourteen, probably quite fresh. It also doesn’t have any sequences or dialogue that are going to make for awkward conversations later.
The Kid Who Would Be King is a fairly straight adaptation of the Arthurian Legend. It’s fun, it looks great, and it will likely satisfy the audience it sets out to capture—younger viewers. Gallop down to the Fridley Palms Theatres and check it out.

Full Service Westside